Friday, July 9, 2010


With Burka setting the tone early on, world leads followed across the board in the longer distances, the most convincing in the women’s 3000m.

Meseret Defar knew she was in for a tough race when she announced on Wednesday that she would be targeting Edith Masai’s African record. An assault on the 8:23.23 mark never came to pass, nor did a notch in the Ethiopian’s victory column after her convincing defeat by World 5000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot.

Defar sensed trouble when the bell sounded; instead of shifting into her trademark final lap gear, she wasn’t even at the head of the closely knit pack with 400 remaining. This time it was the 26-year-old Cheruiyot who unleashed a long sustained kick to take the win in 8:34.58, a meet record and another world lead. Alemitu Bekele of Turkey ran past Defar as well over the final 150 metres to take second in 8:35.19, a personal best, ahead of the Ethiopian’s 8:36.09.

In the men’s 1500 (not a Diamond Race event here), Kenyan Nicholas Kemboi powered home unchallenged to win by the proverbial country mile in 3:31.52, well clear of Morocco’s Amine Laalou (3:32.75) and Kenyan Remy Limo, who clocked a personal best 3:32.83.

2008 Olympic 3000m Steeplechase champion Brimin Kipruto put together his first solid race of the season, resulting in yet another world lead. Kicking away from Ugandan Benjamin Kiplagat, Kipruto reached the line in 8:01.62 to knock nearly five seconds from the previous meet record. Kiplagat hung on well to lower Uganda’s national record to 8:03.81, while Paul Kipsiele Koech, the runner-up in Doha and winner in New York, struggled, but managed a third place finish in 8:11.85.

Full event report here